How to remove Sapphire miner

Also Known As: Sapphire cryptocurrency miner
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Sapphire?

Sapphire is the name of a cryptocurrency miner. This malware is sold in hacker forums for 75 euros. Sapphire can mine XMR (Monero), ERGO, ETC (Ethereum Classic), and ETH (Ethereum) cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, this miner can avoid being detected by Windows Defender, hide from Task Manager and ProcessHacker tools, and launch itself with administrator privileges.

Sapphire miner malware

More about Sapphire miner

Sapphire can be used to mine the selected cryptocurrency depending on the hardware installed on the victim's computer. For instance, it can be used to mine XMR on computers with 2GB or less VRAM (video RAM) under 2GB, ERGO and XMR on computers with 3GB VRAM, ETC + XMR, or ERGO + XMR on computers with 4-5GB VRAM, and ETH + XMR on computers with 6GB VRAM (or more).

Cybercriminals use miners to mine cryptocurrency at the expense of the victim. Their goal is to monetize hardware belonging to their victims. Having an active cryptocurrency miner installed on a computer means receiving higher electricity bills. Also, it can cause problems such as unexpected system crashes (loss of unsaved data) and slow computer performance.

Threat Summary:
Name Sapphire cryptocurrency miner
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Price 75 euros (lifetime subscription)
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.48557615), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of WinGo/CoinMiner.AD), Kaspersky Trojan.Win32.Tasker.avat), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Sabsik.TE.B!ml), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Slow computer performance, unexpected crashes
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Higher electricity bills, loss of unsaved data
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Malicious cryptocurrecy miners in general

Cryptocurrency miners use the computer's physical resources to generate units of a virtual or digital cryptocurrency. There are lots of legitimate and trojanized miners on the Internet. It is common for malicious miners to be capable of avoiding detection and running silently in the background. Muse Miner, CH Miner, and Punisher Miner are examples of malicious crypto miners.

How did Sapphire infiltrate my computer?

Usually, malware (including malicious cryptocurrency miners) is distributed via emails, cracked software download pages (fake software cracking tools/installers for pirated software), and other unreliable sources for downloading files and programs or fake updaters. Threat actors attempt to trick users into downloading and executing malware by themselves.

Examples of untrustworthy sources for downloading files/software are various unofficial sites, Peer-to-Peer networks, third-party downloaders, free file hosting websites, etc. Examples of files that cybercriminals use to distribute their malware are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, executables, archives, and other files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not trust website links and attachments presented in suspicious (irrelevant) emails sent from unknown addresses. Opening them can lead to computer infections. Also, download files and programs from official pages. Do not trust downloads from P2P networks, P2P networks, third-party downloaders, etc. Use official tools or functions provided by the official developer to update and activate the installed software.

Use reliable antivirus software for computer protection and keep it up to date. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Sapphire miner promoted on hacker forums:

sapphire miner promoted on hacker forum sapphire miner promoted on hacker forum 2

Screenshots of the builder panel:

sapphire miner builder panel 1 sapphire miner builder panel 2 sapphire miner builder panel 3

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

Malware process running in the Task Manager

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

Autoruns application appearance

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Run Windows 7 or Windows XP in Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup.

Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings".

Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Run Windows 8 in Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options".

In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

Run Windows 10 in Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

Extract Autoruns.zip archive and run Autoruns.exe application

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Refresh Autoruns application results

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

Delete malware in Autoruns

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

Search for malware and delete it

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.

These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software. To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My computer is infected with Sapphire miner malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

Sapphire can be removed without formatting. It can be achieved by following the instructions provided above.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Most common problems caused by malware are identity theft, financial losses, decreased computer performance additional infections, data encryption.

What is the purpose of Sapphire malware?

Sapphire is a cryptocurrency miner. It uses computer's resources (such as GPU or ASIC) to mine cryptocurrecy.

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

Cybercriminals use different methods to distribute malware. Most of them attempt to trick users into executing malicious drive-by downloads, email attachments or files downloaded via links in emails, files downloaded from unreliable souces, cracked software download pages. In all cases, their goal is to trick users into executing malware by themselves.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. It is important to mention that high-end malware usually hides deep in the system. For this reason, running a full system scan is a must.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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